Crimson Skies for Darkest Hour

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OfaloafNASB
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Crimson Skies for Darkest Hour

Postby OfaloafNASB » Thu Mar 07, 2013 1:59 am

Firstly, hello all! Pre-emptive warning: I'm going to be hyperlinking a ton of stuff below for reference, some of which are threads in other forums and some of which are images. It's gonna look like spam I bet, but it ain't, honest.

I'm not sure how many of you are familair with Paradox Interactive or play much in the way of grand strategy games, but a couple years ago Paradox released Darkest Hour (commonly called 'DH' for short) to some modest fanfare. DH is a grand strategy game focused around WWII and the years leading up to it, and maintains a lively modding community thanks to the fact that most of the game files can be accessed and easily altered in notepad.

Folks have talked about modding the Crimson Skies setting into one of Paradox's games before, but as far as I can tell nothing's ever come of it. I've been reluctant to do anything about it myself, since the maps for these WWII games Paradox have released generally don't give North America many provinces to play with, which limits strategic gameplay in a Balkanized America scenario. Recently, however, one fine fellow has been working on a map mod for Darkest Hour which greatly increases the quantity of provinces overall on the map and, happily, does not neglect to add provinces to North America. The project as of yet does not add many provinces to Canada, but I'm happy to work with the current version he's released which as least has a ton of provinces to the United States. Thus far, I've managed to do this:

Image
(click for a larger image with the UI)

You'll note that the map varies slightly from the canon. For one, the game doesn't do 'Hic Sunt Dracones' areas like the Disputed Territories well-- I had to include organized governments in those areas, because that's one limitation of the game I had to work with. I ended up including a creation of this very forum, the Big Sky Republic, as part of it, along with a derivative of the Comstock Republic called the Sagebrush Republic and the made-up Bighorn Confederation and Palouse Territory. Note that those flags are mostly placeholders, because I don't know what else to do for those things at the moment. I'm also waiting for an update to the map mod before anything else is done to Canada.

Other parts of the globe have also been tweaked, including Europe. Background canon has vaguely mentioned the Soviet Union imploding, but there's also Soviet zeppelins flying around near Pacifica in the PC game, so here the USSR starts off in the middle of a civil war between Stalinist forces, Left Opposition/Trotskyist forces, and Right Opposition forces, with independence movements stirring up trouble in Ukraine, the Caucasus, and the Urals. Central Europe has been redone slightly, with Bavaria (as a monarchy) split off from Germany as part of the Treaty of Versailles, Transylvania independent between Hungary and Romania (seemed appropriate for the pulpish feel of CS) and a Free State of Fiume still present in the Adriatic (because why not).

China has also been redone, engulfed in a slightly different Warlord Era. The National Protection War went awry, with neither Yuan Shikai's government nor the Republican KMT able to properly defeat each other. China collapses into warring fiefs, with the Beiyang Empire ruling in the north and a fractured Nationalist movement bickering amongst themselves in central China (divided between the Left-KMT in Wuhan and Right-KMT in Nanking). Because of the bickering, Communists have been able to remain in Jiangxi and remain friendly to the Left-KMT. South of them lies the Hai Dao Clique (in dark gray) and the South China Republic (dark green).


One thing that's worth talking about the DH game mechanics is the way technological research and the military works. There's a preset variety of units in the game, which can be upgraded with research over time. What this means for a Crimson Skies mod is that not all countries can field all planes at any given time; at best, a country can be given special localization and image files which designate the 1930 Interceptor unit as a Fury and the 1937 Interceptor as the Avenger (or what-have-you), and that's that. One sort of plane for one unit in a given year. Most planes have been assigned for most of the CS-verse American states for the Interwar period, but the game that this mod's based off can run all the way to 1964-- I've started making up models to fill in all the roles for all the years, like the 'Grumman G-80 Firebreather' for the Empire State in 1944 or the 'Topeka T-1b Cornhusker' for the People's Collective earlier on, but I've barely scratched the surface when it comes to filling all that in.


So what's left to do?
  • Firstly, I've used ideas and models from forum discussions and the Zeppelins and Bombers pdf, and it would be good form if I went and asked you all for permission to keep those features in the mod. If you want Z&B material or the Big Sky Republic or what-have-you removed, I'll do that and try to come up with something else, but it would be greatly appreciated if that stuff could be kept in the mod with your guy's blessing.
  • Events are needed. I've written a few, but just don't quite have enough ideas rattling around to fully flesh out the game. Darkest Hour itself is generally very event-driven, and most major wars in the vanilla game (such as the German invasion of Poland in 1939) are triggered by events, rather than the AI spontaneously deciding to do that on its own. Elections, event chains that can lead to wars, declarations of war themselves, alliance offers, province transfers (like the Saar Plebicite forcing France to cede the Saarland to Germany) and events which add or subtract from dissent (a thing which causes production inefficiency and a chance of partisan rebellion if it gets too high) are the most common sorts of events seen in Darkest Hour.
  • What is the shape of the world from 1939 onward? I know this is something CS generally tries to avoid having any clear answer to, but it's something that needs to be addressed for a Darkest Hour mod. A World War Two-ish sort of war would be fun and useful for anyone who wanted to play a power outside of America, and the game likes it if there's a defined Axis(-like), Allies and Comintern set of alliances, which generally help define who the Big Players are and establish who's who in WWII. Going from various CS material, it seems as though France is a far more active player here than historically (sending Foreign Legion troops to participate in the Spanish Civil War, for example), and Britain likewise is far more aggressive (the Hawaiian plan in the PC game). Combined with the talk in another thread here about Edward VIII possibly staging a coup, I had the idea of redefining the Axis as being the British-led Commonwealth (led by a more autocratic King Edward), France leading the Allies (called the Entente because why not) and leadership of the Cominterm to be given to whichever faction wins the Soviet Civil War. Good idea or bad idea?

So there's all that then. If you've managed to slog your way through all that, whaddya think? Does this sort of game interest you guys at all? Should I continue on with all this? Am I missing some fundamental point of Crimson Skies which means that making it fit into a strategy game is kind of stupid? I'm all ears.

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Thom
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Re: Crimson Skies for Darkest Hour

Postby Thom » Thu Mar 07, 2013 3:58 am

I am extremely fascinated! I hope you will make a large scale world map available to us when it is complete. (I totally geek for maps!) I look forward with great excitement to seeing your final product!

I claim the Big Sky Republic (And Comstock) and freely give you permission to use the name and all or any derivative from the narrative that you need. If at some point you actually publish, then I would like a fair credit, but I want or need no other compensation. I am very happy that you might find something I have created as useful. :D
Flying the Crimson Skies

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Carthaginian
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Re: Crimson Skies for Darkest Hour

Postby Carthaginian » Thu Mar 07, 2013 6:23 am

Very interesting.
I'll have to look at that.
And I was just wondering- why are the Outer Banks a separate 'country' when they are actually a part of Dixie?
Southrons, hear your country call you!
Up lest worse than death befall you!
To arms, to arms, to arms in Dixie.


All my planes are made with parts from: http://www.toposolitario.com/workshop/crimsonskies.html.

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stormwell
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Re: Crimson Skies for Darkest Hour

Postby stormwell » Thu Mar 07, 2013 1:59 pm

I'm not entirely sure how an alternative WW2 would work if it was Britain vs France, especially since the two of them have been allies/enjoyed very good relations for decades by the 1930s. Besides CS canon has made repeatedly mention of conflict between Britain and Germany (with its ISA ally), so really I see Britain and France working together to contain a resurgent Germany. I could possibly see a joint Anglo-French raid into Germany to cripple the German airship fleet as the possible start of a CS WW2.

Interesting suggesting that King Eddy could stage a coup, in RL it was the Archbishop of Canterbury who tried staging a coup against Edward in order to make the church more dominant in Britain. It is also interesting whilst Eddy was a playboy he did try to get the British government to help those effected most by the Great Depression.

OfaloafNASB
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Re: Crimson Skies for Darkest Hour

Postby OfaloafNASB » Thu Mar 07, 2013 2:25 pm

Thom wroteColonI am extremely fascinated! I hope you will make a large scale world map available to us when it is complete. (I totally geek for maps!) I look forward with great excitement to seeing your final product!

It'll certainly take time-- I don't think any modding project has ever released a "final product" proper. One of the most popular mods for the game, Kaiserreich (Germany-wins-WWI scenario), is still releasing new updates and tweaking the initial scenario years after the first iteration of the project was released.

I claim the Big Sky Republic (And Comstock) and freely give you permission to use the name and all or any derivative from the narrative that you need. If at some point you actually publish, then I would like a fair credit, but I want or need no other compensation. I am very happy that you might find something I have created as useful. :D

Thank you!
Carthaginian wroteColonVery interesting.
I'll have to look at that.
And I was just wondering- why are the Outer Banks a separate 'country' when they are actually a part of Dixie?

I honestly don't quite understand for sure what level of autonomy or not the Outer Banks has in Crimson Skies. Half the maps out there show it separate from Dixie, the other half show it as part of Dixie.

In Darkest Hour, countries can be 'puppets' of each other, such as the Philippines being a puppet of the USA, British India a puppet of the UK proper and Slovakia a puppet of Germany if and when Czechoslovakia is annexed and that whole business concludes. Puppets can't establish their own treaties or work their own alliances independently of the puppeteer, send a regular influx of cash to the puppeteer and always cede military control if the puppeteer asks for it. Is the Outer Banks' relationship to Dixie on that level, or is it still more integrated than that?

stormwell wroteColonI'm not entirely sure how an alternative WW2 would work if it was Britain vs France, especially since the two of them have been allies/enjoyed very good relations for decades by the 1930s. Besides CS canon has made repeatedly mention of conflict between Britain and Germany (with its ISA ally), so really I see Britain and France working together to contain a resurgent Germany. I could possibly see a joint Anglo-French raid into Germany to cripple the German airship fleet as the possible start of a CS WW2.

There's definitely some Anglo-French tensions which have to be sorted out first, though. Judging from what's been going on in Canada and the Disunited States, Britain and France have repeatedly backed countries quite at odds with each other-- French support for Quebec is quite clearly something which could agitate the Brits and Ontario, for example, and French support for Louisiana while the Brits increased their support for Dixie right next door could be a further source of tensions.

I don't have all the books handy and I'm probably starting to blur bits of fanon with canon, but German-supported states, by contrast, seem less hostile to British-supported states than French ones. Texas (I can't remember where I've read this, hence the disclaimer) seems to at least have friendly-enough relations with Germany to be a good customer of German aircraft manufacturers, and tends to be more hostile towards Louisiana than Dixie. Likewise, the ISA seems less hostile to Ontario than does towards any of its other neighbors, despite Ontario being a sterling place to annex for a blue-water port or two.

The potential Anglo-French tensions in America suggest that this may be a pattern across the globe, and be a hindrance to a cordial alliance between the two powers.

Interesting suggesting that King Eddy could stage a coup, in RL it was the Archbishop of Canterbury who tried staging a coup against Edward in order to make the church more dominant in Britain. It is also interesting whilst Eddy was a playboy he did try to get the British government to help those effected most by the Great Depression.

I was basing the idea of more-autocratic Edward staging a coup off of this thread from this very forum. Even if the abdication crisis itself is avoided, there's still a lot of political tension during the period that could lead to the establishment of a more autocratic "King's Party" which favors increased royal intervention in politics and so forth.

And now, looking over it again, I realize I haven't read it since last December and I see those newer posts. Whelp.

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stormwell
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Re: Crimson Skies for Darkest Hour

Postby stormwell » Thu Mar 07, 2013 3:17 pm

OfaloafNASB wroteColon
stormwell wroteColonI'm not entirely sure how an alternative WW2 would work if it was Britain vs France, especially since the two of them have been allies/enjoyed very good relations for decades by the 1930s. Besides CS canon has made repeatedly mention of conflict between Britain and Germany (with its ISA ally), so really I see Britain and France working together to contain a resurgent Germany. I could possibly see a joint Anglo-French raid into Germany to cripple the German airship fleet as the possible start of a CS WW2.

There's definitely some Anglo-French tensions which have to be sorted out first, though. Judging from what's been going on in Canada and the Disunited States, Britain and France have repeatedly backed countries quite at odds with each other-- French support for Quebec is quite clearly something which could agitate the Brits and Ontario, for example, and French support for Louisiana while the Brits increased their support for Dixie right next door could be a further source of tensions.

I don't have all the books handy and I'm probably starting to blur bits of fanon with canon, but German-supported states, by contrast, seem less hostile to British-supported states than French ones. Texas (I can't remember where I've read this, hence the disclaimer) seems to at least have friendly-enough relations with Germany to be a good customer of German aircraft manufacturers, and tends to be more hostile towards Louisiana than Dixie. Likewise, the ISA seems less hostile to Ontario than does towards any of its other neighbors, despite Ontario being a sterling place to annex for a blue-water port or two.

The potential Anglo-French tensions in America suggest that this may be a pattern across the globe, and be a hindrance to a cordial alliance between the two powers.


Its just that I recall reading a few of the news articles on the CS website which mentions tensions between the ISA and Ontario, hell even mentioned an incident where a flight of Ontario Balmoral got shot down by ISA fighters. There was also mention of an increase in German 'advisors' and an increased British presence in Ontario after that incident.

http://www.montanaraiders.com/mirror/story/aaw/27.htm

http://www.montanaraiders.com/mirror/story/aaw/40.htm

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Carthaginian
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Re: Crimson Skies for Darkest Hour

Postby Carthaginian » Fri Mar 08, 2013 7:31 am

OfaloafNASB,

So far, everything I have seen was that Dixie 'absorbed' the Protectorate.
The two Dixie flags both feature more stars than can be explained without the P.o.O.B. being a fully integrated part of the Confederation of Dixie. The original flag has 9 stars (one for each State in the C.o.D. and the P.o.O.B.) and the second flag has 8 stars (which I explain by having North and South Carolina merge). ;)
Southrons, hear your country call you!
Up lest worse than death befall you!
To arms, to arms, to arms in Dixie.


All my planes are made with parts from: http://www.toposolitario.com/workshop/crimsonskies.html.

OfaloafNASB
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Re: Crimson Skies for Darkest Hour

Postby OfaloafNASB » Fri Mar 08, 2013 8:56 pm

stormwell wroteColonIts just that I recall reading a few of the news articles on the CS website which mentions tensions between the ISA and Ontario, hell even mentioned an incident where a flight of Ontario Balmoral got shot down by ISA fighters. There was also mention of an increase in German 'advisors' and an increased British presence in Ontario after that incident.

http://www.montanaraiders.com/mirror/story/aaw/27.htm

http://www.montanaraiders.com/mirror/story/aaw/40.htm

Well shoot, I completely forgot about that! Do you reckon, then, that there really ought to be a near historical Anglo-French alliance in the CS-verse despite the issues with stuff like Quebec and Ontario?
Carthaginian wroteColonOfaloafNASB,

So far, everything I have seen was that Dixie 'absorbed' the Protectorate.
The two Dixie flags both feature more stars than can be explained without the P.o.O.B. being a fully integrated part of the Confederation of Dixie. The original flag has 9 stars (one for each State in the C.o.D. and the P.o.O.B.) and the second flag has 8 stars (which I explain by having North and South Carolina merge). ;)

Alright, I'll reintegrate the Outer Banks back into Dixie then. Should make potential "flashpoint for war" events easier to write, too, if directly-controlled Dixie territory ran all the way to the Columbian border and was properly within spitting distance of the Empire State.

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stormwell
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Re: Crimson Skies for Darkest Hour

Postby stormwell » Fri Mar 08, 2013 9:18 pm

OfaloafNASB wroteColonWell shoot, I completely forgot about that! Do you reckon, then, that there really ought to be a near historical Anglo-French alliance in the CS-verse despite the issues with stuff like Quebec and Ontario?


I think it makes sense and checking on the CS nations page Quebec (whilst on not-so-great terms with Ontario for leaving) seems to have more concerns with the Empire State and the Maritime Provinces as either of those could shut down its trade routes over trouble to do with Quebec smugglers and a border dispute.

Now whilst it has some skirmishes with the Confederacy, Louisiana's main woes seem to be overly aggressive Texan raids. Its been suggested the Texas may find an alliance with the ISA against the People's Collective, but I can't recall whether its been said Texas enjoys some help from Germany was in a sourcebook or was just somebody's fluff. I mean *IF* Texas enters into an alliance with the ISA and, perhaps, Germany then I could see an alliance forming between Britain, France, Ontario, Quebec, Louisiana and the Confederacy. The Empire State may join the Anglo-French Alliance due to that German plot in the PC, whilst the People's Collective might do as well or perhaps enter into its own alliance with either Utah or the Soviet Union. Then I reckon the other North American nations would join alliances simply based upon 'The enemy of my enemy is my friend'.

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Re: Crimson Skies for Darkest Hour

Postby OfaloafNASB » Wed Mar 13, 2013 9:06 pm

That People's Collective mention fired something in my head, and now there's a couple of event ideas stewing there that I'd like to pass by you guys:

Samuel Morrow's Illness
  • The People's Collective seems less like it's been forged out of a cohesive Christian-Communist ideology than it has been out of an awkward coalition of ideologies who's interests just happened to intersect at just the right moment for Samual Morrow to work with. Namely, the PC looks like its equal parts theocratic, Communist, and even old-fashioned Populist (the emphasis on farmers and debt relief very clearly harkening back to the old Populist movement). All three parts are unlikely to exist in perfect harmony and equilibrium forever-- Yakolev imports suggest that the PC's drifting a little towards the Soviets, and those guys are hardly favorable towards the fervent religious policies of the Collective. 'Mainstream' Communism of the Leninist-Marxist strain also tended to emphasize strong industrialization and collectivization, which won't necessarily please Populists. When Samuel Morrow goes (and no man is immortal, so...), the Christians, Communists and Populists are going to be at loggerheads, and there's probably going to be some serious infighting as to who's going to lead the People's Collective next.

    The idea is that Samuel Morrow becomes ill or dies at some point after 1937. The Christian faction would then put forward someone like Frank Buchman forward as a candidate, the Communists someone likeJay Lovestone or James Cannon, and the Populists backing someone like Burton K. Wheeler or, in a more Progressive vein, someone like Philip LaFollette. Whichever faction wins would change the behavior of the People's Collective in the future- a more Christian PC would become friendlier to Mormon Utah/Deseret, a more Communist PC would gravitate more strongly to the USSR, and a more Populist PC would probably end up more friendly with the Empire State or just end up isolated and screwed over, I dunno.

Here's a list I compiled for a previous iteration of the mod-- the only events written for it were a few ones for the People's Collective and Empire State, those are the ones with the long digit IDs preceding the country tags.

CodeColon Select all

# TAG - County
#U68 - People's Collective
#U64 - Empire State
#U62 - Industrial States of America
#U65 - Appalachia
#CAL - Hollywood
#COL - Colombia (South America)
#TEX - Texas
#CSA - Confederation of Dixie
#SOV - USSR
#GER - Germany
#ENG - United Kingdom

### People's Collective chain
### 2049092  U68  A sister movement in Canada?
### 2049093  CAN  Western Canada joins the People's Collective
### 2049094  U68  The Western Provinces join us
### 1234000  ENG  Canada has failed us!         #The creation of the Protectorate of Ontario
### 1234006  U68  Rethinking our ties with the USSR
### 1234007  SOV  Another member of the Comintern?
### 1234008  U68  Samuel Morrow's illness
### 1234009  U68  Samuel Morrow's death
### 1234010  U68  The New Plan             #Predates Samuel Morrow's death
### SOV  The People's Collective and the party line   #If U68 allies with SOV before Samuel Morrow's death
### U68  Soviet demands
### U68  The Second New Plan (Communist)      #includes improved relations with Soviet Union
### U68  The Second New Plan (Populist)         #includes improved relations with Empire State
### U68  The Big Sky Expedition            #DECISION: War with the 'Big Sky Republic'
### U68  The Pacific Expedition            #DECISION: War with Pacifica. BSR must be conquered.

### ISA chain
### 1234002  U62  The ISA elections of 1934
### 1234003  CAL  Howard Hughes' nostalgia
### 1234004  U62  Alliance with Hollywood?
### 1234005  CAL  The Aviator's Alliance

### Empire State chain
### 1234001  U64  LaGuardia's reforms
### 1234025  U64  Spanish Civil War - Empire State intervention
### U64  Pirates from Appalachia
### U65  Territorial violations
### U64  Our demands
### U65  Empire State's demands (land)
### U65  Empire State's demands (satellite state)
### U64  Our new territory
### U64  Stronger ties
### U64  War with Appalachia
### CSA  Empire State at war
### U65  We surrender
### U64  Our conditions
### U64  We surrender
### U65  Our conditions
### CSA  Our contribution

### Die Spinne chain
### 2003131  GER  The creation of Die Spinne
### COL  Die Spinne in South America!
### U38  Die Spinne operations in Arixo (independent)
### TEX  Die Spinne operations in Arixo (Arixo part of Texas)
### U62  German influences in the ISA
### U62  Our friends in Germany (Franklin August government)
### U62  We've been tricked! (Franklin August government)
### U62  The Starkesturm! (Orville Wright government)
### U62  Our thanks to the Fortune Hunters         #Die Spinne does not seize control of the ISA
### U62  Die Spinne seizes power (Orville Wright government)   #Die Spinne seizes control of the ISA
### U62  Von Essen's government
### GER  Die Spinne succeeds!
### CAL  Rethinking our alliance            #If Die Spinne controls the ISA and Hollywood allied with Wright
### U62  California breaks off relations
### CAL  Neville Sinclair- agent of Die Spinne?
### CAL  A coup!
### U62  The plot succeeds!
### U62  The plot fails!
### U64  The moral alliance
### U68  The moral alliance
### CAL  The moral alliance (not Die Spinne)
### CSA  The moral alliance
### U62  LaGuardia the fool
### U64  The righteous war
### ENG  German meddling in North America

### Arixo-Mexican War chain
### 1234011  MEX  The validity of treaties
### 1234012  TEX  Mexico moves against Arixo! 
### 1234013  MEX  Texan intervention         - We can't stop now!/We must back down
### 1234014  TEX  Mexico won't back down!      - Let Arixo negotiate a solution/War!
### 1234015  U38  Our position in negotiations      - Cede the land/This land is mine!
### 1234016  MEX  Arixo returns La Mesilla
### 1234017  MEX  Arixo refuses to return our land   - War!
### 1234018  TEX  The Arixo-Mexican War!      - Intervene/Not our affair
### 1234019  MEX  Texas joins the war!
### 1234020  MEX  The War is not going our way!
### 1234021  U38  Mexico surrenders!
### 1234022  TEX  Mexico surrenders!
### 1234023  U38  The Lone Star coup
### 1234024  TEX  The Lone Star coup
### MEX  Victory! (w/o Texas)
### TEX  We are defeated!
### MEX  Victory!

### Fortune Hunters chain
### U64  Pirates steal the ESAS Fulcrum!

### CSA  The issue of Louisiana
### TEX  The issue of Louisiana
### U69  A Franco-Louisianan alliance?
### FRA  We shall protect Louisiana!
### CSA  Turn to Britain


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